Whoever humbles himself will be exalted

by FLL Editorial Team

路加福音 14:1, 7-14



接著耶穌說明受邀者先尋求末位的好處,他們不僅可避免不必要的羞辱,而且主人更會在必要的情況下,親自前來請他們登上高位,他們便可因此而得到光彩。最後耶穌提出一個顛覆世俗價值觀的結論,這個價值觀是天主的價值觀:「凡自高自大的必被貶抑,凡自謙自卑的必被高舉。」(路加福音 18:14)



On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man,' and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.' Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Then he said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Luke 14:1, 7-14

In today's Gospel, Jesus had gone for a meal to the house of one of the Pharisees on a Sabbath day. The Pharisees watched Him closely to see if they could accuse Him. In the New Testament, the meals that Christians share are supposed to be moments of communion. But in this meal, the guests were busy with competing for the places of honour.

Jesus had noticed the situation and so He taught them with a parable. He warned them that this action might bring about a negative result that they could not anticipate. In case a more distinguished guest were invited, the host would request the guest to take the lowest place. He would be embarrassed in the public.

Jesus then taught them the advantage of taking the lowest place. This way not only could he avoid unnecessary embarrassment, the host might invite him to take a higher position, and in turn be honoured. Jesus gave a conclusion that goes against worldly values, which are the values in the Kingdom of God: "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 18:14)

Jesus also taught people whom to invite when they host a banquet. In Jewish society back then, guests would invite the host back in order to repay his favour. And the host would lose the opportunity for getting greater rewards. Jesus suggested that when people hold banquet, they should invite those who are unable to give anything in return. This way they would be rewarded by God. This is the promise Jesus made to the just.